Over the years - twelve now since Rufus Ruff ﬁrst appeared - many of our customers have been kind enough to comment on the Christmas card we mail out each year in December. It has been described variously as colourful, vibrant and funny - all of which we take as a considerable compliment. Thank you.
Does the card and the semblance of a story that is evolving mean anything though? Believe it or not, there is a plan and we are hoping it will develop one day into a cartoon feature ﬁlm along the lines of The Incredibles. Indeed, if any of you out there know Brad Bird, who was responsible for the that wonderful ﬁlm, please point him in our direction!
Rufus Ruff is a slightly foppish Georgian gentleman along the lines of the Scarlet Pimpernel - perhaps he is the Scarlet Pimpernel!? His friend and conﬁdent is Lady Robyn Redbreast and between them they have rescued a shipload of exotic birds bound for slavery en route to the West Indies via Bristol.
Read on for the full story thus far…
Lady Robyn Redbreast opened her eyes and was thrilled to see not only a lovely traditionalChristmas Tree but also all the friends she and Rufus had rescued from the slave ship. But where was Rufus?….
Lady Robyn Redbreast smiled at the assembled guests but she was finding it difficult to conceal her concern for Rufus. He should have been back some time ago and he would never miss so auspicious an occasion….
Lady Robyn and guests had a merry time around the piano that evening, but her concern about Rufus was becoming more acute by the minute, when she heard the bell to the front door ring in the great entrance hall….
None of the assembled guests knew whether to laugh or cry. Rufus Ruff, champion of underprivileged birds everywhere, stood before them - a complete and utter mess. He looked as if he had been dragged through a hedge backwards - or rather down a chimney sideways.
After the embarrassment of the doorstep incident and Lady Robyn's subsequent chiding, albeit punctuated with fits of laughter, Rufus slunk upstairs to clean himself up. Now he was in his element: a lovely warm bath with a glass of Champagne in one hand and a cigar in the other. Christmas had come at last!
After the antics of the night before and his long bath, Rufus assembled the guests for the presents. He flamboyantly unveiled the portrait of Lady Robyn he had commissioned from Gainsborough and chuckled to himself when he remembered how the artist had been arrested for stalking her in the park!
Rufus’s earlier misfortune had put Lady Robyn’s plans for the day somewhat behind schedule and she asked the assembled guests to retire and change for the evening’s entertainment. As she and Rufus were making their way out, they paused in the doorway.Rufus looked up at the mistletoe above them….
Lady Robyn is quite taken aback and deems Rufus' advances incredibly presumptuous. Rufus, in return, receives a sharp whack on the head with Lady Robyn's brolly.
Rufus staggers to his feet, dusts himself down and becomes aware of a pronounced protrusion on his forehead. But, as he looks around him at these extraordinary faces, he realises this is Christmas.
Meanwhile on the other side of the city, one of the slave traders was celebrating Christmas in a less fancy fashion. However, his heart miraculously melted and he shared his modest meal with one of his captive slaves.
The slave traders were busy stuffing their faces through their ill-gotten gains when they heard a slave say, "Thank you".
"THANK YOU?!" roared one of them, "They ain't got nothin' to be thankful for. The ARE nothin'. Anyone'd think it was Christmas or sumthin'..."
Rufus and Robyn were exhausted but wanted to spend some time on their own. They decided to go to the local pantomime. As they stepped up to the coach, neither of them noticed the driver ...
No sooner had Lady Robyn boarded the carriage when the driver gee'd up the horses and took off. Was Lady Robyn being kidnapped? Rufus was aghast and momentarily stood there in disbelief.